October 19, 2019: Here’s the Wikipedia page on this tragedy. At least 190 people are dead, and over 250 are still missing, as of this date.
July 18, 2018: I had to back off from the horror of this disaster, even though I don’t know anyone involved; volcanoes are beautiful, but they are so dangerous and they can change your world so quickly, yet so impersonally. Feeling better able to cope with this now and send love and encouragement to all Guatemalans. Here is an overview of things currently, from “The Guardian”:
June 10, 2018: It has been a week, and this is the last update, although the anonymous heroes continue to work in the midst of hot pyroclastic flow deposits, ongoing activity at the volcano, and tropical heat.
Per CONRED today, 197 are still missing, 110 are dead, and a total of 132 are injured (I don’t know the difference between damnificadas and heridas). Some 12,600 people are still evacuated and almost 4,500 people are homeless (though some have gone to stay with nearby relatives).
June 4: This is an amazing picture:
Volcanic lightning from Volcan de Fuego in Guatemala… photo from Matt Tumas, who is a pastor serving about 10-15 miles away… pic.twitter.com/lVO9kpdkgM
— James Spann (@spann) June 4, 2018
Now the hard news.
As of 5 p.m. local time, CONRED in Guatemala reported these figures:
- 65 dead. This will probably rise, as rescue efforts reportedly were interrupted by a second eruption today, as well as a landslide.
- 46 injured
- 1.7 million people affected
- 3,271 people evacuated and cared for
- 1,916 people in shelters
- 1 airport affected
- 2 power grids affected
- 1 bridge destroyed
Original post from June 3 follows.
I just heard about this.
— Geól. Sergio Almazán (@chematierra) June 4, 2018
Officially, at least 6 dead and tens of people injured. The Guardian reports multiple fatalities. (Update: At least 25 dead, hundreds injured. Per Reuters, “Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes.” The “lava” overflowing its banks s/l either a pyroclastic surge or a huge lahar, probably the former; doubt it was actually lava.)
If there can be any “good” news in this situation, from an unconfirmed Twitter GIF of the volcanic lightning this spawned, the flows went down the other side of the volcano, not towards Guatemala City. Still, it’s a densely populated area.
— Chris Vagasky (@COweatherman) June 3, 2018
Per CONRED, via Google Translate, here’s the current situation as of 0353 UTC:
Currently this volcanic dome keeps generating strong explosions with the same energy, ash columns of up to 10 thousand meters above sea level that are dispersed according to the direction of the wind up to 40 kilometers away, especially towards Northwest, North and West of the country, in addition to continuous moderate pyroclastic flows that take direction of descent on the Seca, Ash, Mineral, Taniluya, Las Lajas and Barranca Onda ravines.
The fall of ash is maintained in communities such as La Soledad, San Miguel Dueñas, Alotenango, Antigua Guatemala and Chimaltenango, the decline of moderate lahars is also maintained by the Pantaleón, Mineral and other rivers of the sector where the bridges located in this area could register damages due to the overflow of these rivers.
Communities like Sangre de Cristo, Finca Palo Verde, Panimaché I and II and other communities near this volcanic building have already been evacuated by fire departments, Immediate Response Teams -ERI- of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction -CONRED, elements of the Army of Guatemala and other institutions that are providing attention in the areas of greatest affectation.
It is recommended that the population residing near this volcanic area not expose their life approaching fiery clouds that have descended from the crater, avoid remaining in nearby ravines or rivers where pyroclastic flows or descent of lahars could descend. It is also recommended not to use roads near the volcano of fire since the fall of ash and the descent of lahars have generated different risk conditions.